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Latest posts by Italophile


Posted: 22/05/2013 at 08:19

Any chance of a photo, CLER? As Gilly says, it could be a fungal problem.

Purple Tomato leaves

Posted: 20/05/2013 at 07:28

Hi Mandy. Hints of purple on the leaves of seedlings is very common. Cool weather can cause it. If they're in decent potting mix it shouldn't be a deficiency but it wouldn't hurt to give them a diluted feed - 50% of the recommended strength. Don't feed them again until the first flowers appear.


Posted: 20/05/2013 at 07:20

Dotty, if they're at hardening-off stage they won't need watering while you're away. They will cope perfectly well for four days on their own. Tomato roots should never be permanently damp.

Where they go for the four days depends on what your day and night temps are like. What are they currently?

Celeriac info

Posted: 19/05/2013 at 17:20

Yes, I'm lucky living here in very many ways. Except in cases like a couple of years ago when it was so achingly hot for such extended periods - low-40s for six weeks or so - that most of my tomato flowers just fried on the plants.


Posted: 19/05/2013 at 15:25

They'll be fine, Dove, particularly if you're only watering once a week now. They would have to sit bone dry for a couple of days for them to be affected. Just don't leave your central heating on set to 45C while you're away.

Tomato problems

Posted: 19/05/2013 at 14:51

Tom leaves curling is about the most commonly reported tom problem. And, most often, it's not a problem. Fluctuating temps can cause it, overwatering, overfertilising, all sorts of things. There are at least two virus diseases that will cause it but there are myriad other symptoms associated with the viruses that you'd also notice.


Posted: 19/05/2013 at 14:34

Well done, forgetmenot. As I keep saying around here, toms don't need mollycoddling.

In fact, my local fruttivendolo - green grocer - grows his own toms. We swap seedlings every year. This year he forgot to save seedlings for me so he dug up four plants that had been in the ground for a couple of weeks. He put them in a plastic bag with the bits of soil that came out of the ground with the plants. Forgot to bring them into the shop to give me for a couple of days. Just left them in the plastic bag with no care, no water.

When I finally got them they were very pale green and limp to the point of looking like wet spaghetti. I wish now that I'd taken a photo to post here. Anyway. No problems. I filled a pot with mix, saturated it, poked all four plants into the mix and left them in the shade for a couple of days. They've bounced back to life and I'll plant them out tomorrow.

Toms are remarkably tough critters.

Celeriac info

Posted: 19/05/2013 at 14:24

They're a challenge to grow. They need plenty of warm weather but very damp soil. I read somewhere once that they had their origins in swamplike conditions. Like Welshonion, I gave up. Apart from never getting a decent sized root, it's simply too hot here in summer for them.


Posted: 17/05/2013 at 07:56

A hundred plants? Cripes. That would feed an army. They don't need 5' between plants. Crowns are usually planted around 18" apart. I've got seven in the ground that produce more than enough for two of us. Unless you want to invest in some more crowns and dedicate a patch to asparagus - and it's a long-term commitment - follow Bob's good advice.

Watermelon in the UK?

Posted: 17/05/2013 at 07:50

They need pretty much the same conditions as pumpkins. As much sun and warmth as possible. They're a vine so probably difficult to cover appropriately and they would fill up a greenhouse pretty quickly.

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